Cheap Seats 2021
Faith vs. Science - 03/31
By Rich Trzupek
Some people who claim to know all things about the Catholic church, but who actually know very little about it, repeat the simplistic notion that the Pope claims to be infallible. The reality is that the Pope only claims to be infallible on the rare occasions when he declares that he is speaking ex cathedra, translated as “from the chair.” The Pope only makes this declaration with regards to particular dogma that he deems to be absolutely and essentially at the core of the Catholic faith.
I’ve been voicing my opinions via the Mighty Examiner for more than 20 years now. For the most part, liberals, have no interest in my opinions – other than to hate them – voice their lack of interest in one of two ways: Demanding that The Examiner cease delivery to their residence, or writing me to tell me what a racist, privileged, dumb-ass I am. Either response is cool with me and, more importantly, with my esteemed publisher. I get to speak to roughly 40,000 Chicago suburbanites on a regular basis.
The least we and me can do is to deny any one of our readers the right to express their displeasure with my opinions. My attitude has always been, “have a go, but I’m not going to get into arguments.” There’s no point in doing so when we live in an era where people can drum up “experts” to support their point of view by mouse click.
A recent example: A semi-regular correspondent criticized your humble correspondent’s criticism of expanded executive power under the Obama and Trump administrations. Said correspondent used the Louisiana Purchase as a supposed example of how presidents as far back as Jefferson had exercised the same sort of executive power. In fact, Jefferson’s team negotiated a treaty, as they were Constitutionally able to do, and that treaty did not take effect until Congress approved it and funded it, as required by the Constitution. “Czars” didn’t come into play back in 1803.
Lot’s of people don’t or can’t grasp the details. That’s cool. I don’t write ex cathedra on history, although I’m pretty sure that I know a whole lot more about US history than most – whether admirer or critic. But, when we have to talk about chemical exposure issues, and specifically airborne chemical exposure issues, I hereby invoke the right to speak ex cathedra. It’s what I do for a living and very few are possessed of the same skill set and experience.
The geniuses who make up the Illinois General Assembly are currently contemplating a bill that would require anyone who uses the uber-scary (sarcasm alert) chemical ethylene oxide to perform fence-line monitoring all the time and provides for ever increasing fines when concentrations of ethylene oxide exceed the limit provided in the bill. Here’s what you need to know about this idiotic bill:
1) The limit is lower than the typical concentration of ethylene oxide in ambient air.
2) One normally accounts for pollutants that are naturally in the air and/or originate from other sources by testing up wind and downwind at the same time and determining the source’s contribution by subtraction. To absolutely no one’s surprise, the chuckleheads in Springfield couldn’t figure that out.
3) Ethylene oxide is not the most toxic compound emitted by industrial and commercial sources located near residential areas.
4) Ethylene oxide is not the most potent carcinogen emitted by industrial and commercial sources located near residential areas.
5) Ethylene oxide is naturally occurring and is also produced by a host of common processes, including operation of internal combustion engines.
6) Ethylene oxide is an invaluable and effective sterilization agent used both industrially and by hospitals.
7) Ethylene oxide is used to make many useful chemicals, including polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG’s unique properties are a vital part of many medications, including the Moderna and Pfizer versions of the COVID vaccine.
The entire ethylene oxide scare has been an exercise in hyperbole and hysteria from the beginning, perpetrated by irresponsible and scientifically meaningless reporting in the Chicago Tribune and aggravated by incompetent politicians, morally-bankrupt personal injury lawyers and self-righteous environmental groups. This latest idiocy is the inevitable outcome I suppose. I weep for my old state.